Huma Chia Energy Gel Review & Giveaway

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Huma Chia Energy Gel to review their product.  I hadn’t heard of Huma and I’m really particular about the way I fuel my runs so before agreeing to review their product I needed to know that they fit with my clean eating lifestyle.  I was beyond excited with what I found: I could pronounce every. single. ingredient.  Be still my beating heart.    Huma strawberry

Now before I go on, I feel it only appropriate to let you in on a secret. I hate GU Energy gels.  I don’t foresee my position changing anytime soon.  First of all, the name GU (goo) brings to mind the stuff I pull out of my shower drain, and second, I don’t want to put anything created in an ‘Energy Lab’ into my body; give me something from the kitchen.  Sorry if I’ve offended any of you that use GU but I hope to convert you to the natural side. 🙂 Compare the difference for yourself in the two ingredient labels:

(L) GU ingredients                     (R) Huma ingredients

GU ingredients                                                                   Huma ingredients
Click image to enlarge ingredient labels

Whew, now that I have that off of my chest, let me get back to the review and tell you a bit about Huma Chia Energy Gel.  It’s the brainchild of Ian McCollum and Kevin Sherbourne and was officially launched in November of 2012 – this explains why I hadn’t heard of them yet.  While leading troops in Iraq, 1st Lieutenant McCollum read about the Tarahumara, a tribe of Mexican Indians who regularly compete in ultramarathons using a special chia seed blend for fuel. 1st Lieutenant McCollum figured if it worked for the Tarahumara in Mexico, maybe it would work for him in Iraq.   Hello birth of Huma Chia Energy Gel! {Side note: Because this company has military roots it a special place in my heart thanks to my brother who was killed in Iraq.}

Quick Tech Guidehuma-info-graphic

The above graphic explains perfectly the benefits that Huma brings to the table (you GU users, make sure to look it over carefully) so I’ll cut to the chase and jump right into your ‘how’s it taste & perform’ questions.  The first time I tested it out was two weeks ago on my last taper run.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I opened the apples and cinnamon gel so I squeezed a bit on my finger first.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that it had the exact same taste and texture as apple butter; not that thick gel consistency & artificial flavor like GU.  I shared it with my running girls who all approved.  Unfortunately since this was a short long run (only 10 miles) I didn’t have it on my stomach long enough to see if I would experience any digestive issues.

379191_586170938077998_1348506775_n Then last week was my marathon and I debated heavily on whether or not to use it since I hadn’t had the opportunity to try it on a 20 mile run. I e-mailed the company and Ian responded saying they had never had any digestive issues reported; he was very confident and reassuring which led me to abandon the old adage ‘No new is good new on race day.’

Ready to Rock-n-Roll 26.2 miles fueled by ch-ch-chia!

Ready to Rock-n-Roll 26.2 miles fueled by ch-ch-chia!

I packed three of Huma gels for race day and took my first one (strawberry – yum!) in between miles 5-6; making sure to chase it down with some water.  It went down easy and stayed down even better.  No cramping, no GI issues.  By mile 15 I grabbed my next gel to top off my glycogen stores.  Same thing, no cramping, no GI issues.  Not a single time during the race did I experience any unpleasant effects with the gel or felt like I wasn’t properly fueled.  I also really liked how I didn’t feel hungry during the marathon; usually I start feeling the need for solid food in the last few miles. I finished the marathon strong, in pain, but strong and a lot of that had to do with the gel.

I adore that Huma harnesses the incredibly powerful nutrients of the chia seed and that this gel packs more of a punch then just topping off glycogen stores.  It contains complete protein, fiber and an extreme amount of Omega-3 (you know, the stuff good for your heart). Well color me a convert! I had been using Honey Stingers up until this point but not anymore.  The gel is moderately priced just under $2 a gel.  I realize GU is a bit cheaper but potato chips are cheap, too, but neither is good for you.  I just look at it as an investment in your body; like paying the extra money for organic produce.

Two thumbs up for Huma!

Two thumbs up for Huma!

And for you, my lovely readers, the wonderful gents at Huma Chia Energy Gel are allowing me to giveaway a sample pack to 3 Noshing on Asphalt readers!

Mandatory Entry:  Leave a comment letting me know how you fuel your endurance activities.

Additional entry (leave a separate comment for each):

  • Follow @HumaGel on Twitter
  • Like Huma Chia Energy Gel on Facebook
  • Tweet about the giveaway: “I want to win @HumaGel to fuel my runs. #Giveaway via @Asphaltnosher.”.

That’s four chances to enter! Contest will close on Tuesday, March 12th at midnight and the winners will be announced in Wednesday’s post.

Disclaimer:  I was given four Huma Chia Energy Gels to sample; I was not compensated for this post.  The Huma gushing and GU hating opinions are my own.  I will not review or promote products that I don’t fully believe in.

87 thoughts on “Huma Chia Energy Gel Review & Giveaway

  1. My fueling depends on how far. My first marathon I actually used real food. My sons were in front of our hotel at about mile 11 and had fruit for me. Someone along the route handed me pretzels.

    Nowadays, I utilize mostly Clif Shots (though I can manage to stomach – pun intended – peanut butter GU) in mocha and strawberry.

  2. I use a lot of different strategies for fueling by gu or shotbloks have become my go-to fuel because my stomach seems to handle that best and it’s easy to transport. Otherwise, I’ll pack grapes or a banana, or even cookies if I have the space. I have been interested in trying these as a replacement since you first mentioned them, so I’d love to win!

  3. I have never had to fuel up for a race. I have been researching different gels for my half marathon in 2 weeks. Gasp! This would be perfect because it’s natural and would not cause any GI issues. It’s my first endurance race and I want to be prepared. Thanks for the awesome review!

  4. I don’t usually fuel before a race. I have not tried GU Gel & don’t plan too (not a fan of the consistency). I have used GU chomps during the bike portion of the 3 sprint tri’s I did a couple yrs ago but never on a run/race. I have tried the Sport Jelly Beans and those seem ok but I’d love to try these!!!

  5. Before a race I love to eat a bagel with peanut butter or a banana. During the race I have come to love gels. I used to do sport beans but found that I was having trouble chewing them when I was exhausted from running!

  6. I never realized how much garbage is in Gu! I have never used it, but have used some Clif shot blocks, which I can imagine are just as chemically.
    I like my Energybits most of the time for my “long” runs lol (2+ miles).

    These look interesting; never had chia seeds before!

  7. Gu = Gah-rose. The words “apple butter” were enough to pique my interest! Before a race I’m partial to my oatmeal w/PB and during long runs (which are few and far between right now) I like Swedish Fish or sport Jelly Beans.

  8. Since I’m now starting to need the fuel for half training, I’m very curious to try this stuff! As of right now, I got some Clif Shot Bloks and gel to try. It’s strawberry. I have a feeling I’ll like the shot bloks better, but we’ll see!

  9. I have been wanting to try these but haven’t been able to find them in Canada yet. When I went looking for them I came across vega gels for the first time. They are the most natural thing that I’ve found so far so that’s what I use. Sometimes I’ll eat raisins on my run as well.

  10. I do not like GU either. I have heard some great thinks about HUMA so I am anxious to try some on my long runs .

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  12. These gels have quickly become my top choice. I like the contents, the texture, the results and the flavor. Even more I am originally from Nashville but moved to Arkansas. I got a care package from my Nashville family last week just in time for me to take some huma gels with me to the Little Rock Marathon and was so happy. Thanks for the review.

  13. I like Honey Stingers but right now I am in process of finding new fuels. I am just now getting into longer runs (first half is tomorrow!!!!!) and am looking for different varieties so I can change things up!

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  15. I constantly playing with my fueling on long runs. I love trying new things. I already add chia seeds to everything so I would to try the humagel!!

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